Farm sales and prices remained largely flat in July although dairy farm prices have improved, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of NZ.
They show that in the three months to the end of July, 468 farms of all types were sold throughout the country, down just 0.8% compared to the three months to June and up 8.1% compared to the same period last year.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm size, type and location, was up 1.7% in the three months to July compared to the three months to June, but up just 0.3% compared to the same period of last year.
However dairy farm prices have improved, although sales volumes remain low.
Thirty two dairy farms were sold in the three months to the end of July compared to 46 in the three months to the end of June, and 41 in the three months to the end of July last year.
The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm size and location, was up 23.8% compared to the three months to June, and up 16.6% compared to the three months to July last year.
However REINZ cautioned that care needed to be taken when interpreting dairy farm price trends in the winter months because the low volume of sales could distort the Index figures.
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REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said weather and its effect on farmers had been to the fore in the rural property market.
"Weather patterns across the country contained extremes in temperature and either a shortage or surplus in rainfall depending on location," he said.
Continual wet weather had been a particular problem in north Canterbury and the Waikato, he said.
While the working farm market remains steady, the market for lifestyles blocks continues in boom mode.
The REINZ recorded 9,063 sales of lifestyle properties in the 12 months to July, up 26% compared to the 12 months to July last year, and the highest number recorded in any 12 month period in the last 20 years.
The total value of lifestyle properties sold also hit a new record of $6.81 billion in the year to July.
"Reports indicate supply barely keeping abreast of demand, which given the time of year, leads to speculation as to how the market will perform during the coming favoured months of spring," Peacocke said